Love what you do before you do what you love, so it will be easier for you to achieve a balance between work and life.
Often, work takes precedence over everything else in our lives. Our desire to succeed professionally can drive us to put our own well-being aside.
However, creating a harmonious work-life balance or work-life integration is very important, to improve not only our physical, emotional and mental well-being, but also important for our careers.
What is work-life balance, and why is it important?
In short, work-life balance is a state of balance in which a person prioritizes the demands of his career and the demands of his personal life. Some of the common reasons that lead to poor work-life balance include:
- Increased responsibility or perhaps holding an important position at work
- Working longer hours than usual or overtime.
- Increased responsibilities at home
- Having children
Balancing your professional and personal life can be a challenging activity, but these friends are important.
Read: 11 Most Effective Cognitive Skills to Accelerate the Learning Process.
8 Ways to Improve Work-Life Balance
For those of you who have been doing what you love and have free time to work, maybe this is not a big problem. However, for professionals who spend more time working, this is often an obstacle.
This challenging activity requires discipline so that you are free to determine when it is time to work and when it is time for family.
Here are 8 ways to improve your work-life balance, today. Here are eight ways to create a better work-life balance, as well as how to be a manager who is supportive of subordinates.
1. Accept the fact that there is no ‘perfect’ work-life balance
When you hear “work-life balance”, you probably imagine having a very productive day at work, and leaving early to spend the other half of the day with friends and family. While this may seem ideal, it is not always possible.
Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; strive for the realistic. Some days, you may be more focused on work, while other days you may have more time and energy to pursue hobbies or spend time with loved ones. Balance is achieved over time, not every day.
It’s important to stay fluid and constantly assess where you are, what your goals and priorities are. Sometimes, your children may need you, and other times, you may need to travel for work, but keeping yourself open to directing and assessing your needs on a daily basis is key in finding balance.
2.Find a job you like
While work is an expected societal norm, your career should not be restrained. If you hate what you do, you will not be happy, plain and simple.
You don’t have to love every aspect of your job, but it should be interesting enough that you’re not afraid to get out of bed every morning.
To find a job that you love so much that you can do it for free. If your job is exhausting, and you find it difficult to do the things you enjoy outside of work, something is wrong.
You may be working in a toxic environment, for toxic people, or doing a job you really don’t like. If this is the case, it’s time to find a new job.
Read: How to Overcome Mental Block.
3. Prioritize your health
Your overall physical, emotional and mental health should be your primary concern. If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression and think therapy will benefit you, fit those sessions into your schedule, even if you have to leave work early or leave your evening classes.
If you’re battling a chronic illness, don’t be afraid to admit to being sick on hard days. Too much work alone prevents you from getting better, possibly causing you to take more days off in the future.
Prioritizing your health first and foremost will make you a better employee and person. You’ll lose less work, and when you’re there, you’ll be happier and more productive.
Prioritizing health doesn’t have to consist of radical or extreme activities. This can be as simple as meditation or daily exercise.
4.Don’t be afraid to get out of the habit
Disconnecting from the outside world from time to time allows us to recover from the weekly stressors and gives us room for other thoughts and ideas to emerge. Unplugging can mean something as simple as practicing transit meditation on your daily commute, instead of checking work email.
When you usually travel with the boss for work, you can accompany the boss while reading a novel, while you will also do something work-related.
I didn’t understand at the time that he was giving himself rest and decompression while I was bringing myself to potential exhaustion.
Taking time to relax is essential to success and will help you feel more energized as you work.
5.Go on Vacation
Sometimes, completely stopping activity means taking time off and turning off work notifications completely for a while. Whether your vacation consists of a one-day trip or a two-week trip to Bali, it’s important to take time to recharge physically and mentally.
According to the 2018 State of American Vacation study conducted by the US Travel Association, 52% of employees reported having unused vacation days remaining at the end of the year. Employees often worry that taking time off will disrupt workflow, and they will face a pile of work when they return. This fear shouldn’t keep you from getting some much-needed rest.
There should be nothing wrong with not taking proper time away from work; the benefits of taking a day off far outweigh the disadvantages. With proper planning, you can spend your time without worrying about overburdening your coworkers or facing a heavy workload when you return.
6. Make time for yourself and your loved ones
While your job is important, you don’t have to do it all your life. You were an individual before taking this position, and you should prioritize activities or hobbies that make you happy. Achieving work-life balance requires deliberate action.
If you don’t strictly plan your personal time, you’ll never have time to do anything else outside of work. No matter how tight your schedule is, you ultimately have control over your time and your life.
When planning time with your loved ones, create a calendar for romantic and family dates. It may seem odd to plan private time with someone you live with, but it will ensure that you spend quality time with them without any work-life conflicts. Just because work keeps you busy doesn’t mean you should neglect personal relationships.
Realize that no one in your company will love or value you as much as the person you love. Remember that everyone can be replaced at work, and no matter how important you think your job is, the company won’t be left behind tomorrow if you leave.
Read: Important Lessons in Failure.
7. Set limits and working hours
Set boundaries for yourself and your colleagues, to avoid burnout. When you leave the office, avoid thinking about an upcoming project or answering company emails.
Consider having a separate computer or phone for work, so you can turn it off during work hours. If that’s not possible, use separate browsers, emails, or filters for your work and personal platforms.
Whether you are working away from home or at home, it is important to determine when you will work and when you will stop working; otherwise, you may find yourself answering work-related emails late at night, during the holidays or on weekends.
The most important thing is to let your team members and managers know about the limits to which you are inaccessible because you are involved in personal activities. This will help ensure that they understand and respect the boundaries and expectations of your workplace.
8.Set goals and priorities, then stick to them
Set achievable goals by implementing time management strategies, analyzing your to-do list, and cutting out tasks that aren’t worth it.
Pay attention to when you are most productive at work and block off those breaks for your most important work-related activities. Avoid checking your email and phone every few minutes, as they are major time-wasting tasks that frustrate your attention and productivity.
Organizing your day can increase productivity at work, which can result in more free time to relax outside of work.
How to be a supportive manager to subordinates?
To help you do a better job of supporting employees’ efforts to achieve a healthier work-life balance, here are some tips you can try:
- Know what your employees stand for. Not everyone has the same work-life balance goals. Talk to each employee about their goals, and then determine what you can do to help them. Some employees may benefit from working remotely several days each week, while others may prefer to change their daily work schedule. It’s important to be open-minded and flexible.
- Set a good example. Your employees are following in your footsteps. If you email all the time, day and night or work hard on the weekends, your staff also thinks that’s what is expected of them.
- Let employees know what their options are. While employers typically do a good job highlighting their work-life balance offerings to potential job candidates, the same cannot be said for communicating those initiatives to current employees. Discuss regularly with your employees the options available to them. Also, sit down with prospective parents and discuss parental leave options.
- Stay on the front line. It is important to stay ahead of the curve on the emerging work-life balance trend. What works today for employees may not match a year from now. Keep your work-life balance initiatives fresh, and offer benefits on demand. Plus, consider offering a work-life program.
Thus our discussion about work life balance, hopefully you can achieve this well. No job is perfect, so love what you do so you can easily find a balance between work and life.